How Do I Take Great Formal Wedding Photos?

Even if you’re practicing a photojournalistic style of taking wedding pictures, you still would need to have a series of formal shots to complete the album that you are creating for your couple client. I do know how newbie photographers and even the veterans struggle with this type of shot, because they don’t know how to make the emotions ‘pop’ out of the photo and not make it look like the subjects were told to smile at the photographer’s instructions.

Here are some tips on how you can take great formal wedding photos:

- First, make sure that you have a list of the formal shots that need to be taken. This list should be prepared with the couple – especially if there are family members whom they want to be taken formal photos with right after the wedding.

- Second, it is much better if you will take the formal photos after the wedding ceremony has been completed. Following the list that you created of the shots that the bride and groom wants to be taken, you should take control of the mini-crowd that is sure to develop right after the wedding ceremony and gather everyone around. Better yet, have the couple assign one family member to be the one who is in charge of which family member should pose with the couple, and when.

- Third, make sure to check with the wedding coordinator if you do have time to take the formal wedding photos after the ceremony. If not, do it before the wedding.

Photos of the bride and groom with their parents, siblings, bridesmaids, groomsmen and other members of the family are the all-important formal shots that you need to take. By creating a list of the formal photos that need to be taken beforehand, you can make sure that you won’t forget anything and the newlywed couple will be happy with the quality of work that you have.

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Be Eco-Friendly with Wedding Photography!

When you go online and search for any type of business in your area, you would usually see a company which claims to have a green or environment-friendly operation. This is definitely a good thing, what with all the ecological problems that the entire world is facing.

So if you’re in the wedding photography business, how can you do your share in helping save the environment?

Read on to find out:

1. Purchase and use batteries wisely.
There’s probably not even a need to say this, but you should make use of rechargeable batteries as much as you can. Not only will you be helping save Mother Nature in the process, but you will also save up on your business’ operational costs because disposable batteries don’t give you the best bang for your buck. If you do have a lot of used batteries, dispose of them properly.

2. Reuse, reduce and recycle.
This is the mantra that green businesses should live by. Purchase recycled paper products as much as possible. Reuse the UPS boxes that you are receiving on a regular basis, just make sure to cover up the previous labels. Operate on a paperless environment as much as you can.

3. Drive an eco-friendly car and if you have weddings to cover, carpool.
Although driving a green car may be more expensive than the regular gas guzzler, you will end up saving more resources with the gas that you will save – not to mention the fact that non-eco-friendly cars are harmful to the environment.

4. Market your business as eco-friendly.
Although being green is not necessarily a high priority for most brides – but there are environmentally-conscious couples out there. You might get plus points if you advertise your business to be green and eco-friendly, just make sure that you practice it 100% on all aspects of your business’ operations.

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Wedding Photography Tip-Gaining from the past

Every good wedding photographer has a list of things that he or she does with the perspective bride and groom. One of the most important, of course, is talking to the bride and groom to find out what sort of shots they want taken before, during and after the wedding ceremony and reception. You define the style they are trying to achieve, how much time they want spent with each group or individual and whether they want candid or more formal shots. These are all excellent ideas that appear in virtually every bridal guide and are surely employed by nearly every wedding photographer in the country.

What is missing from this equation? Taking a retrospective glance at the coverage that was provided. My theory goes beyond hours of pouring over negatives; photo shopping out the maid of honor’s skin imperfections and trying to select the best shots of each group to present the bride and groom in an attempt to get them to buy bigger, buy more. This has nothing to do with the hours that the bride will spend with her girlfriends and her family, trying to decide which pictures to enlarge and hang over the mantle. While these are all important steps in the process, they are still lacking something vital.

After the bride and groom have put away the new Lennox china and the mail has started coming to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, contact the bride. Find out what her thoughts are, not on the shots that were taken, but on the ones that weren’t. Meet with the new Mrs. or ask her to make a list of the people, places, moods that were not captured at her wedding and reception. Find out why there are no photos of this event or moment. Perhaps it was a sporadic event, or perhaps timing was wrong. Many times, the pictures that weren’t taken were of little things that just weren’t thought of. This information can prove invaluable to your next client and every one there after.

Make sure that you keep an organized list or journal of these ideas. Share these ideas with your new clients and categorize them as best you can. The variety of options and shots you offer to your wedding parties will quickly expand and perhaps make you the most creative wedding photographer in town. Present what was a missed opportunity to one couple as your gift to the next.

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Tips For Point-and-shoot Digicam Wedding Photography

Armed with a Point-and-Shoot Digicam at a Wedding? Here are Some Tips for You!

Okay, so you’re probably wondering why I’m blogging about how to use a point-and-shoot digital camera for a wedding – but it’s actually for one reader who would like some tips on exactly how this can be done.

Here’s my ten cents worth of advice. First, if you’re bringing a tool which is not used by the professional photographers, then you might as well bring along some attitude with you. Instead of shooting typical scenes like the cutting of the cake, why not go where the rest of the other photographers cannot go? Watch people’s reactions to the couple’s first kiss and take as many photos as you can.

When you see the groom having a smoke with one of the groomsmen during a lull in the activities, that would make for a great black and white shot. Make sure that you have as much memory as you can have so that you can take as many pictures as you need. Use your optical instead of the digital zoom so that you can play paparazzi and get in close on the action.

As much as possible, don’t use the built-in flash that your camera has. Go near where the light is so that you can capture a softer, more flattering shot. The trick to taking great portraits is to open the aperture up wide – but not too much. Other tricks of the trade that you can apply even while using your digital camera would be to use dramatic diagonals and other “ambient” framing methods.

Finally, if you’re determined to make the most out of your time being an unofficial wedding photographer using your point and shoot digicam, the one thing that you should remember is that you should always be in the ‘on’ mode. Be on the alert for unusual, touching and funny scenes while covering a wedding and take as many photos as you can. Once you download those photos from the nifty memory card of your digicam, most of the shots would need very little touchups and you would be mightily proud of the work that you’ve done.

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10 Things You Must Check When You Are Buying A Digital Camera

Before buying a digital camera you have to consider several important criteria. The choice of a digital camera primarily depends on the need of a person. It is important to identify your needs before making a decision. Here we are going to discuss about the 10 things that you must check before buying a digital camera.

The types of digital camera you want have to consider before buying.

  • Camera can be compact or ultra compact depending on the way in which you can handle it. You have a choice on the ease of use. Some digital cameras are light weight and small in size so that you can carry in your pocket. Point and shoot cameras are easy to operate.
  • The price of the camera is the next thing you have to consider. Most of the point and shoot cameras costs in a range between 200 to 4oo dollars. The cost of the accessories required should be also considered. If you are an amateur photographer then a point and shoot camera will be sufficient.
  • You must be aware of the physical size of the camera. A digital camera will be handy only if it is smaller in size. You can visit a nearby shop to estimate the size of the camera you require. Take a trial before making the purchase.
  • A traveler or an amateur photographer will need a camera that can be used without bothering the technical aspects. A simple point and shoot camera can provide quality pictures. But professional may require better cameras.
  • You don’t have to spend more time thinking about the brand name of the digital camera. The more popular brand will be a better option. Digital cameras of most of the popular brands offer good performance.
  • You must be sure of the features that you want in your camera. It will be difficult to find all features in a camera. And including all features in a camera will be costly. You have to prioritize the features you require based on your needs.
  • The battery type of the digital camera must be checked. Ensure that the battery belongs to a popular make. The power and life of the battery is essential for using your camera effectively. It is better to have extra batteries with you.
  • The memory card is use to store photos in your camera. The number of photos you can take depends on your flash memory size. Ensure that you camera supports flash memory cards with maximum storage capacity.
  • The megapixel count of the camera will not directly affect the quality of pictures. But as the number of megapixels increase you will get sharper prints. When the number of pixels is more the picture will be clear when you are enlarging it.
  • Ensure that you a camera are having better picture quality. Most of the popular vendors are providing digital cameras with a reasonable picture quality. You can take some trial photos to ensure it.

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Ten Must Know Facts About Memory Cards

Memory card may be the smallest accessory of a camera, but it the most important one since the photos are stored in it. Memory card can be considered as the functional equivalent of the film. The number of photos and quality of photos that you can shoot using a digital camera depends on the memory card.

The physical size of the memory card has been decreasing along with the size of the digital camera. You may have to use more than one memory card for your camera. To keep the memory card safely and to distinguish memory cards, it is ideal to keep them in a case.

The number of photos you can shoot for a particular function depends on the storage capacity of the memory card. It is better to have memory card with larger size. You can have a memory card of size ranging from 2Gb 8Gb at a reasonable price.

The type of the memory card suitable for your camera must be identified. Memory cards are not interchangeable. There are many types of memory cards like SD, MMC etc in varying sizes. The amount of memory card size that your camera supports must also be identified.

Memory card is not a expensive accessory anymore. So it is ideal to have more than one memory card. This will keep you protected from missing some important shots. A memory card can be freed only after transferring the images to other storage medias using computers.

A card reader is a device that can transfer the images in the flash memory to a computer. When you are choosing a card reader ensure that your card reader can read multiple formats. You may have to use different memory cards and formats for taking photos.

A memory can be erased and reused when the storage capacity is full. But the images can be erased intentionally or accidentally. The images can be erased using the digital camera or using computers or card reader. Some memory cards provide a facility to recover delete images.

The speed of the memory card varies depending on its type. Speed is the factor that determines how fast data can be read from the memory card. Faster memory cards can write and read images at a faster rate.

Normally memory cards are black in color. But recently memory cards of popular brands are available in multiple colors. You may have to use more than one memory card for your camera. Choosing memory cards of different colors will help you identify it more easily.

Since memory card has become inexpensive you can buy more memory cards. You can use the memory cards as a permanent place for storing images. This will help you to carry it from one place to another in case of necessity.

The size of the memory card is decreasing and the capacity is increasing. Choose the memory card with highest capacity. But before making the purchase make sure that your camera supports such big size memory cards.

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First Wedding Photography Book Recommendation

If there’s one book which I’m sure every amateur wedding photographer would appreciate having while they’re getting their business off the ground, that is none other than Steve Sint’s “Wedding Photography: Art, Business and Style” book.

He does have a new book out but for now, let’s focus on how the original edition of this particular title. I can’t even remember how many times, when I was first starting out, I took this book out whenever doubts as an amateur photographer assailed me.

Much like a student studying for a test, I used Steve Sint’s book as a guideline to increase my knowledge about the basic aspects of wedding photography that I typically did not have a clue about. When you read the book, you will see how the author started with the ABC in wedding photography: how to start a wedding studio or work for one, how to build your very own repertoire of wedding photos and how to frame and pose your subjects.

The good thing about the middle part of the book is that good and bad examples are given – so you would pretty much have an idea about whether the photos that you’re churning out at that point in your career were passable or not.

The succeeding parts of the book talked about how to use a flash, how to relate and sell your wedding packages and more importantly, how to promote your business. Thinking back, if I had to scrimp on other things that I didn’t have money for back then, Steve Sint’s book is the one thing that I wouldn’t have regretted purchasing. It’s that useful, especially for those who are just starting out – and wish to succeed – in the wedding photography business.

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NIKON D300

Nikon D300 is an excellent camera. Nikon has defiantly evolved providing the D300 better features than that of D200. This is the best choice for a professional a photographer. The features and setting that it offers are high end and advance, if you purchasing the camera for casual photography then you would be under utilizing the features. It is a single lens camera. In case you are not a professional photographer but a serious armature the camera would prove to be the best pick.

The AF system enabling eight frames in a second capture rate. Has an optional MB D10 battery pack as well. Automatic sensor cleaning and live view are the additions to the D300. The camera has an amazing operating speed that makes it quite responsive. 13ms is its powering up time. The controls offered in the Nikon D300 are quite traditional and easy to use.

THE AUTO FOCUS

Multi –CAM 3500 is used in the D300 takes the performance of the auto focus feature to another level. Only after using it one could experience the power. I could only say that the camera had no difficulty capturing a flying bird and the results were impressive. As it uses the Multi – Cam 3500 the auto focus module is defiantly better than that of D2X. Though the D2X wasn’t bad either it had Multi-CAM 2000.

LCD

The LCD is quite large. It’s at the back of the Nikon D300, its 3 inches and offers 922,000 pixels. The resolution of the LCD is good. The screen is large enable to review and understand the details of the image. Over and above that addition details are also provided as a display on the LCD like – AF active indications etc.

VIEWFINDER

The viewfinder in the Nikon D300 is an absolute pleasure. It is much brighter and large for DX sensor. It also had gridline feature on demand. It uses too less battery as in case you take off the battery the gridlines would be blurry but would be there for some seconds. Below the image that the view finder would capture the Nikon D300 has the essential setting information.

OTHERS

• The camera has a built in flash with pops up
• The camera uses micro drive or the type 1 and 2 CF memory card.
• EN-EL3e battery is uses. It also accepts the MB-D10 battery

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NIKON D3

Nikon one of the leading brands for camera has finally after a long wait has launched its digital SLR full framed camera. The Nikon D3 is a pride to own. It is 12.1 mega pixels. Nikon D3 is all about the sped and image sensitivity. The Nikon D3 offers great photo size with the best resolution ever. The camera features the Expeed image processor. Another amazing thing about this camera is that you don’t have worry if you holding the camera at the right level. The camera has the HDMI video output with a virtual horizontal feature that would let you know when the level is perfect.

LOOK AND FEEL

Like the other Nikon camera the D3 also offers an evolutionary design. Has a large pentaprism and LCD contributing to the weight of the camera. It’s a little over 3 pounds. 6.2 x 6.2 x 3.4 inches dimensional is coated with magnesium alloy. The camera is sealed against water and dust.

NIKON D3 SETUP

Set up would include viewfinder display settings, diopter adjustment settings and the menu taking you item by item. The menu system would include - Auto Image Rotation, Color Space, Focus Mode, Release Mode, Picture Controls, D-Lighting, Non-CPU Lens Data, NEF Bit Depth, Function Button, Voice Memo, Image Review, Rotate Tall, Navigator Center Button, My Menu and Manage Settings.

LCD

The Nikon D3 has a gorgeous 3.0 inches wide LCD with 921,600 dot. The LCD is particularly tough to stand rough handling as far as scratching the LCD screen is concerned. It has n edge over the competitors because of the almost seamless gap between the pixels. The LCD in Nikon 3D is much finer.

AUTOFOCUSING

Nikon 3D has the AF system which detects data by 51 AF. The 51 AF with 3D tracking (are mode). The camera would automatically get the object across the frame as it would remember the point where the focus was. It would lock it. This would be a great feature for the sports photographers. 9 frames every second is offered with ongoing auto focus tracking and 11 frames per second with out the auto focus tracking.

The Nikon D3 is a must own camera if you like speed and sensitivity in your photographing experience.

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CANON EOS-5D DIGITAL SLR CAMERA

Canon is the only manufacturer of the reflex digital cameras with a full sized sensor image. As a photographer two things would be very crucial while I pick a camera for myself, one being that I should get the best with the minimal investment and the other being that it should be compact to handle. The Canon EOS-5D takes care of both my needs. It’s compact and is suitable for professional photography because of its impressive and amazing specifications. It’s a full frame camera; you don’t have to worry about the focal length conversions. Wide angle photography is made so easier with this device.

THE CAMERA TEXTURE

The camera has an amazing well balanced texture. You have to hold it to understand the feel of it. Cast Magnesium is to carve out the body of the camera. Soft rubber texture is used to cover the grips. The door of the battery compartment, camera base and the compact flash is made out of plastic door. The weight of the camera is evenly distributed providing it a balanced feel.

DISPLAY SCREEN

The Canon EOS – 5D has a clear and bright 2.5 inches LCD screen. The viewfinder is a great experience in itself. It’s quite big. It is even brighter than many of the camera available with such features.

IMAGE QUALITY

The image quality is great. There are different levels of compressions and lots of resolution settings to select from including RAW.

CONTROLS AND MENU

The controls and menu is quite simple to follow and is user friendly. In case you have the any other camera of the same series you would feel at home as it is almost similar. Color coding is provided in the different areas of the menu helping to distinguish while scrolling.

BATTERY

The Canon EOS – 5D uses the same battery as used in its other models of the same series – BP-511A.So you already know about the battery supply which is established to be good. Plus if you have any of the cameras of this series, the battery of that could second the battery of your new Canon EOS – 5D.

OTHERS

• The wide range optics available in the Canon EOS 5D does get you in a hassle of changing lenses.
• It is a 12.8 Mega Pixels camera
• External flash gun is required as it doesn’t have a built in flash
• Compact Flash Memory card is used that could fit into any of the slots provided on both the sides.

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